So you have just received your enlistment letter and your enlistment date into the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is fast approaching. As a Singaporean Citizen/ PR, you knew the day was coming but you are overwhelmed with emotions and thoughts - wondering what to expect.
As you prepare to enlist part of Singapore’s conscription laws, this article will prepare you for what is to come and how you can prepare for it.
Essential packing list:
Singapore National Registration Identity Card
Health booklet or medical documents
A printout of your PES and medical excuses from eHealth
Dark-coloured plastic frames for those who require spectacles. Contact lenses are not allowed during training.
A set of civilian clothing and hangers
A small padlock for your locker
Aside from bringing everything on your packing list, here are a few helpful items to bring in to camp with you on enlistment day!
Item 1: Snake Brand Powder
This powder has saved countless NSFs from rashes and foot fungus while keeping NSFs cool throughout the day. Use it before a route march or before sleeping to keep yourself cool and dry. Trust us; this is as close to air-conditioning you are getting during Basic Military Training (BMT).
Item 2: Plasters
The training regime at Tekong will invariably lead to blisters: long route marches, hard tarmac, stiff leather boots. Your day could be completely ruined having blisters so do yourself a favour and bring a box of these blister plasters with you.
We recommend applying these plasters to either the inside of your boots and/or directly onto your feet. Apply these to areas such as the ball of your feet that are prone to discomfort when wearing your boots. This will particularly allow you to comfortably ‘break in’ your boots while avoiding blisters during activities like route marches.
Item 3: Febreze
How many of us can proudly say that we know how to do our laundry? Exactly. Febreze will quickly become your best friend. Use it to keep away the odour from the intensive training
Item 4: Portable phone charger
There are wall sockets in Tekong, although you would find out that their usage is banned. Should it be one of your priorities to remain connected to the “outside world”, bringing along a portable charger for your phones is imperative. We recommend 20,000mAh and above.
Item 5: Dry snacks
We recommend packing some of these snacks along:
Himalayan Salt Candy: to supplement nutrients after physical training
Mixed nuts: generally healthy and filling, a perfect choice for snacking in between breaks.
Biscuits: Great to share with your bunkmates and build camaraderie
Item 6: Massage ball
Adjusting to the rigorous training may take some time. Bringing along a massage ball to ease any muscle sores and knots after intensive training would be essential for a quicker recovery. An affordable and compact item, use it in bunk during admin time to ease knots and sore muscle.
Item 7: Toiletry bag
In the military camp environment, it is ideal to keep things organised. As such, it is best to have your personal care items orderly put into a toiletry bag. Ideally, it should have a hook to hang up in the bathroom stall for convenience.
Item 8: Hanger with pegs
Admittedly these are slightly more expensive than the normal hangers, however, this is definitely worth it in the long run. Drying wet pants can be difficult, which is why it’s recommended to have these hangers with pegs to maximise surface area.
Item 9: Pen
A rather often overlooked aspect of BMT is admin work. There are lots of times where having your own pen to sign or write would be handy - signing forms, taking notes in lectures
Item 10: Wet Wipes
Wet wipes are particularly useful for things like field camp and stand-by area/bed. Dust could accumulate quickly on the surfaces which makes wet wipes the perfect solution to efficiently keep your bunk area clean.
Bonus Item: Earplug
Sleep and recovery are important during BMT. You may not be needing these all the time. However, in the unfortunate event that any snoring is preventing you from catching some rest, a set of earplugs would serve you well.
Adding these items to your packing list of essentials when preparing for your enlistment would make the experience a lot better. If you wish to make the best of your National Service journey, check out how we could help you strategise the 2 years ahead.